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Councillor quits over bureaucracy
A councillor has left the Keighley town centre partnership because of what he sees as the “bureaucratic nonsense” he has to wade through to get things done.
Councillor Andrew Mallinson, who represents Craven, said he was “appalled” councillors have been told they have just two months to come up with £10,000 worth of environmental improvement projects in Keighley, and that the council had created a system destined to slow things up.
The Conservative councillor is a member of the Keighley Town Centre partnership, dedicated to improving the town centre, but has asked to be removed from that group.
On Thursday evening the council’s Keighley Area Committee, of which he is also a member, heard they still had £38,013 to spend on projects. This included a fund of £10,000 to improve Keighley town centre.
Jeff Bennett, area co-ordinator at the council, said: “We will set up a ward partnership team to see how these developments take place.” Their decisions will then have to go to other councillors for approval.
Coun Mallinson pointed out the town was already represented by the area committee, town centre partnership and Keighley Town Centre Association, and couldn’t understand why yet another group was needed.
He said: “I’m appalled we’ve got two months left of the financial year, and we have £38,000 that still hasn’t been spent.
“I welcome money for the town centre environmental improvements, but no way are we going to come up with a project to spend £10,000 on in time.
“I welcome everyone getting involved, but this will just slow things down. We have two months to get on with something. We are just creating a dinosaur. I want my name taken off the partnership. This is just crazy.”
Committee chairman Steve Pullen said: “There are segments of the council who don’t know what another group is doing. We just want to tie this project together.”
Mr Bennett defended the new partnership, saying the idea was for all three wards that make up the town centre to have representation on how the £10,000 is spent.
After the meeting, Coun Mallinson said his role on the town centre partnership was undermined when such decisions have to go through another group or committee. He said: “It is just bureaucratic nonsense. The partnership had a specific job to do. It should be allowed to do that rather than consult with every Tom Dick and Harry.”
His stepping down from the partnership, which includes representatives from police, council and local groups, leaves a space for a Bradford councillor.